21 June 2011

Thai/Food/Gaga...Oh, My!

I've always thought that Center City Philadelphia could use a few more great Thai restaurants.  There are my go-to spots like Tamarind/My Thai/Aqua, and even though I'm always happy to go back for more, I still feel like there's room to add to the mix.  So, when I heard that Erawan would be opening a second location in Chinatown, I was thrilled.  Unfortunately, I have never been to their original spot on 23rd and Sansom (I really need to venture out to the Art Museum Area more), but I've heard great things, so walking the few blocks to 9th and Arch was a must. 

The gals and I checked it out for lunch on a weekday when they offer their fantastic lunch deal of salad/soup or app/entree for $7.95 +.  And this cute little byob with their super friendly staff and Thai Lady Gaga music (no joke, they have their own version of Bad Romance) hit the spot.  The peanut dressing on the Erawan salad was so rich and delish that I honestly sent the bowl back completely clean.  My veggie spring rolls and Holy Basil Supreme were completely satisfying as well.  The portion sizes were plentiful, easily allowing us to package up some leftovers to savor over later.  My only minor complaint was that the entree could have been just a tad bit spicier, however I'm sure they would have been more than happy to fulfill this request as the staff was oh-so helpful and pleasant throughout our dining experience.  With their options for take-out and delivery as well, I will definitely add Erawan to my go-to list.  Grab a few bottles and a few friends and check out Erawan and their version of Lady Gaga for a savory dish or three.

20 June 2011

You Say You Want a Revolution...

After much wait, Old City welcomes Revolution House, the new bar/restaurant located on the corner of 2nd and Market Streets which was home to Snow White diner for oh-so, long.  I'm happy to report that the owners have put a lot of elbow grease into the new place.  Not a trace of the former diner has been left behind, which for those of us who have dined there before know that's a great accomplishment.  The only thing that nods at the locations previous roots is the diner-style breakfast that's offered on their menu complete with omelettes/pancakes/sides of bacon. 

The two-story spot is spacious indeed, providing a bar on the first and second floors with table seating for dinning as well.  The exposed brick walls/wood-planked bars/metal railings/chandeliers and hanging bottles give an array of textures adding much warmth to the environment.  The real gem of the space however, is the huge roof deck which faces Market Street and is surrounded by colorful plantings and wall sconces for night time diners. 

The beer list has a great mix of draft and bottle selections (any bar that serves Allagash White on draft is alright by me), and the wine menu allows winos to select their choice of glass or bottle (always bottle) for all sparkling/white/red/rosé.  And, in addition to the diner-style breakfast, the food menu is all about comfort;  burgers/tater-tots/meatballs/pizza.  I sampled the margherita pizza, as well as the tater-tots, and to be honest I've had much better of both, but dining al fresco, above Market Street, away from the typical Old City crowd is good enough to keep me coming back.

06 June 2011

Glendi Thursdays

This Thursday, June 9th, Opa will be hosting Glendi, a fashion/music/photography event kicking off at 9pm with showtime beginning at 9:30pm.  Take a peak, as Sansom Street is turned into an art lover's haven between 13th Street and Broad all night.  On the runway, fashion will be provided by local Philly favs like Carmelita Couture and Matthew Izzo. Charlie Salon will be taming tresses, and DJ Rahsaan will be mixing and entertaining the crowd.  And of course, Opa will be serving their tasty Greek dishes and delicious cocktails inside.  Fashion/Food/Fabulous Fun.  See you there!

01 June 2011

PBW is Here!

Philly Beer Week kicks-off this Friday, June 3rd at various locations throughout the city and burbs.  With plenty of options to try some new and fav brews, head out and get your drink on through the 12th at some of the events listed below. 

 June 3rd - Cool off with Capogiro's mouth-watering, beer-based gelato.  Check out their four locations for flavors like Rogue Chocolate Stout with oats/chocolate malt/chocolate/hops, as well as Voodoo Love Child with passion fruit/raspberries/tart cherries.  Divine!

June 4th -The Farmer's Cabinet hosts Mikkeller Draft Party starting at 3pm. The Cab. will be pouring an astounding 25 taps of rare beers from this Denmark brewer.  I'm there!

June 5th - Monk's Cafe hosts The Lost Abbey at 4:30pm. With an lineup of tempting and pleasing sour beers, look for such brews as Duck Duck Gooze with pineapple guava fruit. Yum!
And, for more events, don't forget to download PBW's app for iphones and androids to help simplify the extensive list of 1,000 or so events to attend.  Bottoms up!

27 May 2011

The Garden on the Square

Vibrant colors attracting, playful sounds of water splashing, music faintly looming in the background, small/magical/twinkling lights floating all around - there are so many ways to describe my experience at Talula's Garden on Washington Square.  Stephen Starr continues to amaze me with his ever changing/always amusing concepts.  Stepping off the street/out of the heat/into the earthy, eclectic garden was truly transforming.  I had escaped the city if only for a few hours, and it was one of my favorite dining memories to count.

If you're not so lucky to score a rocking/wooden/metal/garden chair at one of the many large or small tables outside, the dining room and bar inside are by no means disappointing, but honestly dining outside versus inside is a completely different experience.  In the garden that Starr has created for us, somehow I think the food and drink just automatically taste better because the space is so special.  During my visit, I can say that I have tasted the best rabbit dish in the city.  The Braised Rabbit with Handkerchief Pasta, Percorino, Green Olives, and Fava Beans was simply divine/tender/savory/mouth-watering.  The plentiful options of cheese plates to amuse yourself with is quite impressive and a challenge to pick just one.  With the 'In Kind' cheese plate, I enjoyed the most nutty/creamy/delectable Gouda paired with slightly sweet, almost candy-like, peanuts.  Ahhh-mazing!  Even the bread that's brought to the table, brioche with spring ramp butter, is so light/flavorful/heavenly, and the servers are more than happy to continue refilling your basket.

My night at Talula's Garden couldn't have been any better.  The service was excellent, the staff was friendly/helpful/charming in every way possible, there was nothing negative to report about the food/drink, and to top it all off I got to experience this all at one of the city's most serene/uplifting/sparkling gems.  Make a reservation.  Immediately.

26 May 2011

"She Could be a Farmer in those Clothes"

That quote (from Clueless) really has nothing at all to do with this post except for the fact that they both have the word, Farmer, in common.  And, I guess if you were heading to The Farmer's Cabinet you would need to throw on some clothes...so, there's that too, but we might be stretching it here...

Anyway, I recently had the opportunity to check-out The Farmer's Cabinet, and I guess if one wanted to be rather difficult they would mention the fact that Philly already has a few Whiskey/Speakeasy type bars (Village Whiskey/Franklin Morgage/Ranstead Room), so it might be getting a bit overdone, but I say, who the hell cares (or, As If!)!?  Isn't it great that we have one more option to add to the list of great/stand-up/over-priced(but worth-it) bars where a fabulous cocktail is easy to come by without having to stand next to a group of fist-pumping, teens ordering cherry vodka with sprite, make that diet.  I think so.  And not only are the cocktails worth-it, but the ambiance and decor are appealing and transforming.  Who doesn't wish they grew up in the Roaring Twenties?  Flappers/Jazz/Illegal Liquor....my true calling.

Although it may not be the first of it's kind, The Farmer's Cabinet is A-Okay with me.  The mason jars, filled with glowing candles hanging from the ceiling and the live band of banjo/violin/old-school piano players makes the experience authentic.  The Cab. also offers up the option for a sit-down lunch or dinner which is something you can't find at Franklin Mortgage or Ranstead Room.  And, while I didn't try the food menu (it looked mighty tasty), I did drink enough calories to make it count as a meal.  The Whiskey Sour, my first ever, was simply divine.  Although, I must say, I think I slimmed my chances of finding another that's just as pleasing.  And word has it, they're mixing up a new cocktail list today, so you know I'll be popping over to try.

24 May 2011

What I Like About...

Zavino, my neighborhood brick-oven pizza joint, located on the corner of 13th and Sansom in Midtown Village/the Gayborhood/Washington Square West (still deciding on what to refer to the new hood as), never disappoints.  Whether I'm sitting down for dinner, stopping by for a late night snack (box of pizza for one, please), or happily sipping on some tasty/inventive cocktails with friends, I always enjoy my visits and I keep coming back for more.  If you haven't been, check it out, and perhaps my top five favorite things (listed below) about Zavino will inspire you to grab a slice (or a box ) tonight.

1. The service is fast.  Getting a delicious margherita pizza to go, after a Wednesday happy hour quickly turns into 6 hours of drinking, takes about 10 minutes or less.  Perfect.

2. The leftovers keep well.  Eating said pizza the next day for lunch after it's been sitting out all night because someone fell asleep (passed out) next to it, is still mighty tasty.

3. The staff is excellent.  They're very tolerable towards all of their customers (those paying and not paying), such as the crazies who steal food off of the outdoor tables or those who walk (stumble) in late night and ask (demand) for a pizza to be made as quickly as possible.  Late night cravings are tough.

4. The food is delish.  If you really want to indulge and ruin your diet, I suggest ordering the 'Stache' Pizza with a side of the House Made, Ricotta Stuffed, Veal Meatballs to share of course (not really) with some friends.

5. The drink options are plentiful.  While eating order a glass of red, a glass of white, try the Unusual Thyme and Limoncello Margarita cocktails, proceed to ask your server if he/she can then make those drinks into shots (see #3.  They're so helpful and love creative people), and don't forget about the great Seasonal Victory Beers as well.  Go ahead and add all of those to your bill.

Give it a try! 


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